Sunday, June 10, 2007

El Sabor de Mallorca. . .


I just got back from a great trip to Mallorca, Spain with my friend Sarah. We needed to escape the clouds and cold that were somehow still afflicting Oxford in early June so we decided to rent a car and drive around in another country. Couldn’t have picked a better place – there was lots of sun, beaches and great food on this largest of the Balearic islands! My rusty Spanish was put to good use as we navigated Mallorca’s winding roads along the northwest coast, with nothing on our agenda besides a search for interesting seasonal ingredients and creative cooking with an authentic touch.

Mallorcan food is closely tied to the island. The sea, sun, and sandy soils give rise to powerfully flavored local produce and sea foods. Olive trees cover the hillsides, their whimsical branches often forced into symmetric terraces – both the oils and fruits play big in local foods. Nestled between the mountains, citrus trees cluster into little groves with their branches literally dripping with lemons, loquats, or oranges. Balearic vineyards have begun, offering local wines that convey Mallorca’s sharp landscape and hearty environs at affordable prices. Local specialties like pa amb oli (rustic bread with olive oil, tomatoes and sliced meats or cheese) showcase these natural ingredients and use a simple, minimalist approach to flavors and spices.

But the island also has a large expat community, as a lot of Germans and Brits are moving to the island to buy up the rustic villas and beach homes. That’s having an interesting effect on the culinary options. As we traveled through major towns and smaller villages, it was hard to find purely Mallorcan cooking free from other influences. Quite a few of the visible restaurants cater to a tourist audience by offering up standards like grilled meats and fish or pastas infused with local ingredients and flavors.

So, this short trip provided a lot of taste bud-edifying experiences. I tried to recreate some of the flavors and experiences at home, although it’s hard to replace special ingredients like Mallorcan produce and home cooking. As demanding as the “research” was, I hope you can enjoy some of our finds in the ensuing posts. . .

2 comments:

spanish villa said...

Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Donna Amira said...

Nice post well no doubt if you are looking for Family beach holidays in Spain then vakantiehuis mallorca is the best place to visit,with its guaranteed sun, sandy beaches and lively night life.there are other places too where we can spend holidays like Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, Costa Maresme, Ibiza and Mallorca (Majorca),these places are known for their long white sand beaches,villa's life.